Spices + Cold Coffee = Delicious Cuban Marinade!

Posted by Abigail Schmidt on July 18, 2014 (0 Comments)

Here is a fool-proof sumptuous new grilling recipe to try the next time you don’t finish that pot of coffee.

There is usually no such thing as ‘leftover’ coffee at our house.  We are professional addicts. The proof is in our possession of an embarrassing variety of French presses - never mind additional contraptions - to coax out a brew of hot brown water! But no matter what degree your dependence (one cup, four cups) or apparatus your coffee ritual demands, it is the essential and universal jet fuel that propels many of us through our day.  And because of that, chances are quite high that you will at some point find yourself with this unlikely grilling ingredient: a cup of cold coffee.

A leftover cup of coffee appeared at our house last week when we were both too busy to notice or too polite to take the last sludgy serving.  It gave me the chance to bust out of our "recipe rut" and try out this Cuban coffee marinade recipe given to me by a friend. It sounds like dumpster diving at home because you also get to use sour orange juice but believe me, it easy and it is delicious.

Coffee isn't just for breakfast or dessert, it’s awesome in the main course, too. Coffee adds depth to the flavor of the meat and a harmonizing boost to the spice blend. Here's the recipe:

Cuban Coffee Marinade

1 cup black coffee

¼ cup sour orange juice (¼ cup vinegar is ok too)

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion finely minced

3 garlic cloves minced

2 Tablespoons honey, brown sugar or agave

1 tablespoon ground cumin (these organic cumin seeds would be perfect!)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon chili powder 

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and mix well.  Makes enough marinade for 2-3 pounds of beef, pork, or chicken.  Marinate meat (preferably) for 2-8 hours.  The whole thing takes about 15 minutes tops to throw together & clean up, ideally before heading off to work.  When you get home for dinner just light up the grill because your prep work is done!

I grilled chicken thighs, wings, and legs, along with a pile of spring onions seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Add spinach salad and you’ve got a perfect summer meal.

Tip: Throw a couple of ears of corn on the grill wrapped in tin foil (butter spread under husk and left on), let cook for 20-30 min, and then add your marinated meat which will cook for about five to ten minutes each side depending on the thickness of the meat. This way, all will be done at the same time and ready to serve.

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